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Lines Written During the Castlereagh Administration


[Published by Medwin, "The Athenaeum", December 8, 1832; reprinted,
"Poetical Works", 1839. There is a transcript amongst the Harvard
manuscripts, and another in the possession of Mr. C.W. Frederickson of
Brooklyn. Variants from these two sources are given by Professor
Woodberry, "Complete Poetical Works of P. B. S.", Centenary Edition,
1893, volume 3 pages 225, 226. The transcripts are referred to in our
footnotes as Harvard and Fred. respectively.]

Corpses are cold in the tomb;
Stones on the pavement are dumb;
Abortions are dead in the womb,
And their mothers look pale--like the death-white shore
Of Albion, free no more. _5

Her sons are as stones in the way--
They are masses of senseless clay--
They are trodden, and move not away,--
The abortion with which SHE travaileth
Is Liberty, smitten to death. _10

Then trample and dance, thou Oppressor!
For thy victim is no redresser;
Thou art sole lord and possessor
Of her corpses, and clods, and abortions--they pave
Thy path to the grave. _15

Hearest thou the festival din
Of Death, and Destruction, and Sin,
And Wealth crying "Havoc!" within?
'Tis the bacchanal triumph that makes Truth dumb,
Thine Epithalamium. _20

Ay, marry thy ghastly wife!
Let Fear and Disquiet and Strife
Spread thy couch in the chamber of Life!
Marry Ruin, thou Tyrant! and Hell be thy guide
To the bed of the bride! _25

_4 death-white Harvard, Fred.; white 1832, 1839.
_16 festival Harvard, Fred., 1839; festal 1832.
_19 that Fred.; which Harvard 1832.
_22 Disquiet Harvard, Fred., 1839; Disgust 1832.
_24 Hell Fred.; God Harvard, 1832, 1839.
_25 the bride Harvard, Fred., 1839; thy bride 1832.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Volume 1

    Volume 2 - Early Poems 1814-1815

    Poems Written in 1816

    Poems Written in 1817

    Poems Written in 1818

    Poems Written in 1819

    Poems Written in 1820

    Poems Written in 1821

    Poems Written in 1822

    Volume 3

    Volume 3 - Juvenilia

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